No bikes in central London – what is going on?

Home Forums Hate No bikes in central London – what is going on?

This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  urban 7 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #74826

    Rupert
    Participant

    After about 5.30pm there are just no bikes in West End/Covent Garden/Soho/Holborn. Last night I walked from Mortimer St down to Waterloo taking in every docking station on the way – not a single bike, apart from locked ones (seven at one docking station). At Waterloo, of course, every station was full. I didn’t see a single Serco van either. Obviously they have completely given up redistributing the bikes. Does anyone know what’s going on? I’ve contacted TfL and the Mayor’s office but just get the usual stuff about ‘we’re doing our best’ – which just isn’t true!

    #84348

    Roo10
    Participant

    How do you know their best isn’t true? The scheme isn’t designed to meet commuterism, just do the sums 6,000 bikes across London ~1000 docking points in the centre and 400 ~at Waterloo. ad in 130,000 members it doesnt add up at peak times.

    #84349

    parsingphase
    Participant

    While Roo has a point – that their best might just be crap – there was nothing available by 10:30pm on Monday either – plenty of time to shift some bikes around after the commuting peak – and I’ve not seen any redistribution being done in weeks. I’ve been getting pretty much no service for my subscription for a while – and now they want me to renew. I’m not sure whether to bother, to be honest.

    #84350

    Rupert
    Participant

    Replying to @parsingphase‘s post:

    I should have pointed out that this was at 8.15pm – plenty of time post-rush-hour to shift some bikes around. It’s so depressing: Boris Bikes are the best thing to happen to London in years, but it’s just not working properly. This isn’t a one-off. It’s every evening throughout the central area, while the periphery, and mainline stations, are clogged.

    #84351

    Jisabella
    Participant

    It is always somewhere between very difficult and impossible to get a bike in the evening in Central London – I Serco just don’t bother to restock in the evening…I have had to walk back to Camden, with never a functioning bike in sight! Now I have an Android app it is a bit easier…but best to head down to Charing Cross to get one, as lots of commuters dump them there.

    #84352

    radii8
    Participant

    Oops – double post

    #84353

    radii8
    Participant

    Replying to @Roo10‘s post:

    Quote:
    How do you know their best isn’t true? The scheme isn’t designed to meet commuterism, just do the sums 6,000 bikes across London ~1000 docking points in the centre and 400 ~at Waterloo. ad in 130,000 members it doesnt add up at peak times.

    I have to agree with Rupert – in the evenings I am not using the bikes for commuting but for short trips around central London (shopping and visiting venues) and it is true the bikes do seem to all but disappear, so that between 10 and 11.30pm when they are needed there is very little to be found.

    More bikes are needed around the major educational buildings (e.g. Kings, ULU, the various halls of residence in W1), because this brings bikes into the central areas in balance to commuters taking them out. I have seen a good flow of bikes throughout the day outside Birkbeck who also cater to the evening crowd. (and central halls of residence) but they need to put some thought into where they are placing them, and of course adding much needed capacity in these areas.

    #84354

    Dougoliver
    Participant

    Replying to @radii8‘s post:

    I would echo Rupert’s sentiment. Empty in central London and very little distribution to outer zone. I often try to use them to get out of the west End to get to Elephant and Castle in the evening, and frequently I spend a long time looking for one in the west end – once i get south of the river there are no docking stations. I recently had a grand tour around south London – including Kennington, Vauxhall, Elephant, Walworth, Tower Bridge etc – before eventually finding a space at least my eleventh docking station visited: Borough Market.

    The only time I have seen a re-distribution vehicle in Kennington the car was parked whilst the attendant was diligently rolling up a blue pack of rizla.

    Seeing as he has staked his political credibility on it, and considering how ineptly managed it is and notwithstanding Serco’s own culpability, Boris is the cusp of losing my vote in 2012!

    #84355

    Rupert
    Participant

    Has anyone ever had a sensible answer from TfL or the Mayor’s office on this issue? I wish they’d just fess up and say ‘the scheme operates between 0800 and 1700′.

    #84356

    urban
    Participant

    I have to agree. It is getting much much worse. I’m seeing far fewer Serco staff at docking stations than I was a few months ago. More broken docking stations and more empty stations.

    Yesterday evening I walked from Tottenham Court Road to Baker Street, passing 8 stations – 6 were totally empty, 2 had all red bikes. That is totally unacceptable – to walk across half of Zone 1 without coming across a single working bike. It was long enough after the rush hour for the bikes to be distributed. They just weren’t.

    #84357

    boneshaker
    Participant

    I totally share everyone’s frustration. Even journeys which work fine are stressful because of the uncertainty of docking. I didn’t join till October so my renewal is a little further off, but I won’t be doing it. Next task is to buy myself my own bike – which, to be fair to the scheme, was always one of its aims.

    #84358

    urban
    Participant

    This is such a shame. The complete and utter f*** ups by Serco lately are driving people away from the scheme – and just at the time when many of us are renewing.

    And the irony is, the more people leave, the more the system will be allowed to break.

    I have renewed my membership for another year – the scheme is just too good to leave (even with all of our major grumbles).

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